And now, tilapia ice cream without fishy tasteBy Anselmo Roque
Inquirer Central Luzon
SCIENCE CITY of Muñoz— Tilapia, one of the most common fares on Filipino families’ dinner table, is now a dessert.
With tilapia flakes as main ingredient, Dana Vera Cruz, a professor at the College of Home Science and Industry (CHSI) of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) here, produced an ice cream without a fishy aftertaste.
“Our tongue can feel the flakes but there’s no aftertaste of fish,” said Vera Cruz, who chairs the department of hospitality of the CHSI.
The fishy taste, she said, is crossed out by the other ingredients like walnut (which can be substituted by peanut), cream and cheese.
The tilapia ice cream was a hit when it was presented and offered for tasting during the Tilapia Food Festival at the CLSU on Friday. Among those who relished cones of this unusual ice cream flavor were participants in the Philippine Fisheries Research Forum also held in the university.
Those who tasted the ice cream said they loved what was served them.
Vera Cruz said her concoction was a result of the challenge issued by Dr. Tereso Abella, director of the CLSU Freshwater Aquaculture Center (FAC), to teachers and students to come out with various dishes and refreshments using tilapia meat.
The Center is one of the agencies involved in the propagation of an improved breed of tilapia, an African freshwater species, in the country.
“Why not a tilapia ice cream?” asked Vera Cruz, who obtained a diploma on hotel and management course at Ashworth University in Georgia in the United States.
After some trials, Vera Cruz came out with her own version of the ice cream. “It can be done at home. It can be a boost to the tilapia market,” she said. All one has to do is to steam the tilapia, flake its meat, and mix it in all-purpose cream, condensed milk, ground walnut and cheese, she said. The mixture should be frozen overnight and served in cones or cups.
Vera Cruz said a nutrition content evaluation has yet to be done on the product. But judging from the public’s response, she said it will be a regular fare in the university’s Chives Café and Patisserie, which is run by her department.
Dr. Hilaria Cuaresma, CHSI dean, said Vera Cruz’s recipe is one of 40 authentic recipes from 16 countries featured in the book “Asian and Western Tilapia Cuisine” launched during the tilapia festival on Friday.
Cuaresma said the festival was mounted by students taking the hotel and restaurant management course with the support of the member-agencies of the Tilapia Science Center here and some private companies.
Cuaresma said dishes from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, Polynesia, Spain, the US and the Philippines were prepared by the students in their booths and offered for tasting by festival goers.